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Editorial: The Beginning of the Universe


The universe is, it seems, some 50 million years older than we had thought. Or so the latest map of the oldest detectable light produced by the Planck space telescope suggests.

All of which rather boggles the mind. As, indeed, does the notion that normal matter makes up less than five per cent of everything; let alone the conclusion that there is also less dark energy than once supposed; let alone the fact that astrophysicists’ discussions are now beginning to consider even what might have existed before the Big Bang.

More things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in our philosophy? Most certainly. With each step forward in scientific knowledge, we reach the limits of the human imagination and must expand our horizons further. And if the impossible vastness of time and space does not put our human concerns into perspective for a moment, what would?